Ruth Kallman, our beloved Nana, passed away August 9, 2014 at her Santa Barbara home, surrounded by family and friends, at the age of 89.
Beloved mother, grandmother, wife to the late Robert Kallman and community volunteer, Ruth was born February 9, 1925 to Julane and Mark Davis in Los Angeles. When Ruth was a toddler, the family moved to Santa Barbara. She attended local schools and graduated from Santa Barbara High School in 1943.
As a young woman, Ruth volunteered at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital and assisted with local USO events during World War II. She attended California State College, Santa Barbara and the Knapp School of Nursing. She married Robert Kallman, who had recently returned from the Pacific Theater, in 1948. Ruth and Bob met as children while attending Roosevelt School and raised four children: son Kristofer, daughters Tina and Carol and son Cliffy (who passed away in 2000). Actively involved in her children’s education, Ruth participated as a member of the PTA and was an assistant Girl Scout leader.
During the mid-1950s, they moved to the Mesa where Bob worked at the family business, Kallman’s Nursery. It was there they built a home together.
Part of the Greatest Generation, Ruth valued her community and spent much of her time and efforts improving it. Instrumental in the founding of Alpha Resource Center, Ruth also served as president of the Santa Barbara Zoo Auxiliary and on the Zoo’s board of directors. A former executive director of the Arthritis Foundation, Ruth also served as president of the Mesa Improvement Association and was active in Los Fiesteros Dance Club as well as Fiesta.
Throughout her life, Ruth’s beauty and eternal optimism never dimmed. Like her husband, Ruth could smile with her eyes. She epitomized elegance and her wit and charm would cause those around her to laugh often, sometimes at the most unexpected moments. She enjoyed reading, traveling and playing “Dimes” with wives of El Pescatores social club. Her zest for life was contagious to those around her.
Kind and loving, Ruth was passionate about many things, but none more than her family. She was deeply involved in their lives, from hosting Sunday breakfasts every weekend at her home to interacting with them on “The Facebook,” as she called it. Ruth was known to be honest, but tempered everything she said with her trademark smile and affection.
Ruth Kallman made the world a better place. Her husband of 67 years, Robert Kallman, and their beloved son Cliffy preceded her in death. Ruth is survived by sister Kelly Saunders, Ruth and Bob’s children Kris, Tina (Paul) and Carol (Don), along with grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
The family would like to thank Santa Barbara’s Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care, Dr. Roger Dunham and Lucy Perez for their compassion and support.
A memorial service will take place at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family asks donations to be made to Alpha Resource Center, located at 4501 Cathedral Oaks Rd. in Santa Barbara. alphasb.org/donating/